A few weeks ago, BE, BC, and I went out for ice cream. BE’s school had designated a specific day when a percentage of sales from this ice cream shop would be donated to the PTA. There were a lot of other families there, including some of BE’s friends. One friend was in line behind us when BE told me that she had never been to this shop before. In fact, she had been there two summers ago – the first summer that she lived with us. So, I reminded her of this. Her friend overheard me say, “when you first came to live with us.” This friend then turned to BE and said “Are you adopted?” BE said, “yes” and I could tell that the friend’s parents were embarrassed. So I told them not to worry about it.
As I was saying “when you first came to live with us,” I wondered if I should. I don’t want to be broadcasting BE’s story to everyone within earshot, but I also don’t want to purposely avoid the topic – I definitely don’t want to communicate that there’s something shameful about it.
When BE gets older, I hope that she’ll be able to tell me how she feels about this. If I know her preference, maybe I can just do whatever makes her feel most comfortable.
3 thoughts on “Are you adopted?”
This is an interesting issue…the difference between secrecy and privacy. It’s sometimes a trick to know when the latter is called for, and how to best protect it.
This is a normal boringly average fact of life. As an adoptee, it should be a normal thing to talk about.
My question is, why say, “when you came to live with us”? Why not say 2009 or after Grade x, or any other reference. Maybe she should just get to say it to her friends or strangers in her time and space.
There is nothing wrong with it, or good about it. As Mel from Stirrup Queens said a long time ago–it’s just another way to build a family. Treat it that way.
Just my opinion. 🙂
Thanks for commenting, Aurelia. Those are some great points. To be honest, I don’t know why I didn’t just say, “two years ago” instead of “when you came to live with us.” I can’t speak for BE, but it was such a defining time for me. Maybe it’s because I tend to think of my life as “before the kids” and “after the kids.”